Students call on QUT to sever ties with Adani

Students of the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have lobbied management to sever their relationship with Indian coal miner Adani.

Fossil Free QUT have lent their support to fossil fuel divestment organisation 350.org by presenting university management with a petition bearing more than 1000 signatures, and demonstrating at the QUT.

A Facebook Post from Fossil Free QUT said “Adani is known for its unethical social and environmental practices and is responsible for proposals to develop the largest coal mine in Australia and Abbott Point Coal Terminal in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.”

The Australian reported that QUT vice-chancellor had twice declined requests for a meeting with members of Fossil Free QUT, and instead referred the group the university’s head of finance Stephen Pincus.

The move comes several months after Australian National University announced it’s divestment from seven resource companies on the grounds of unethical practices, which caused a major upset in the Australian mining community.

QUT signed an agreement with Adani Australia in December last year, which will see the Graduate School of Business host a series of coaching workshops aimed at enhancing leadership skills for executives who will be involved with development of the Carmichael coal mine.

Business school executive director Bob O’Connor said the Adani Leadership Excellence and Development Program would “challenge Adani leaders to think holistically and make decisions in the best interest of all stakeholders”.

Adani's Australian Country Head and Mining CEO, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, said the company was impressed with the University’s proven and innovative approaches to executive education.

“Ensuring our executive team in Australia demonstrate agility in their decision-making through the best educational programs available will be key to ensuring we deliver our integrated mine, rail and port project, which will provide 10,000 jobs, $22 billion in taxes and royalties for this state, and opportunities for small and medium size businesses,” Janakaraj said.

Construction and mining contractor Downer EDI recently won a $2 billion contract for works at Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

Downer said it had received two letters of awards from Adani for the construction of mine infrastructure and mining services at the site.

Construction of the mine is set to commence later this year, with first coal slated in 2017.

The mine, which was approved in July, will produce 60 million tonnes a year for 60 years.

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